By David Gespass, Past NLG President
We are deeply saddened by the sudden and untimely death of Chokwe Lumumba, who lived a genuinely revolutionary life providing guidance to, and taking direction from, the poor, oppressed and disenfranchised. Chokwe proved that one does not have to abandon principles to be successful in politics, that it is possible to rally people alienated from the two major political parties and rouse them to action. Speaking to the needs and aspirations of poor African-Americans instead of taking money from the city’s power brokers, Chokwe was elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi.
He held office for only a few months, and we now inherit the obligation to fulfill the deep promise embodied by his election: the responsibility to advance the interests of what Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the masses and not the classes,” to strive toward a government that expands human rights and democracy – prevailing even in a country where elections are suffocating with money.